Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor is a serious star in the classical music world, despite being just 19 years old. A BBC Young Musician of the Year finalist in 2004 at the age of 11, he has been rising to increasing prominence ever since, and has garnered an impressive array of outstanding reviews, nominations and accolades. He was even one of the Daily Telegraph’s Top Ten Britons of 2011, alongside such figures as James Corden and David Cameron. He has performed at a dazzling selection of venues around the world, from the Royal Albert Hall (where he played the sell-out opening concert of last year’s Proms) to Carnegie Hall (which he played 13).
This June will see him come to the Barbican, as part of a series of concerts in Oxford, London and Aylesbury, with Oxford Philomusica. The Philomusica, the Orchestra in Residence at the University of Oxford, is well known for working with internationally acclaimed pianists, and hosts an annual Piano Festival and Summer Academy. This is no surprise, perhaps, given that the orchestra's founder and director is conductor and pianist Marios Papadopoulos, whose piano recordings and recitals are held in great esteem.
The concert on 12 June will feature Grosvenor playing Grieg's famous Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16: a gloriously romantic work offering the pianist the perfect opportunity to demonstrate his formidable technical flair as well as his interpretative sensitivity.
A rather different work will conclude the programme: Carl Orff's famous and dramatic large-scale work Carmina Burana. Oxford Philomusica will be joined by the London Symphony Chorus, the New London Children's Choir, and soloists including soprano Elena Xanthoudakis, baritone Robert Davies and countertenor Tom Verney. Marios Papadopoulos will conduct. The opening piece is a world première by Oxford University's Dr Martyn Harry, entitled Galgenhumoreske.
This promises to be a vibrant, must-see concert from a top-class orchestra and a soloist who is demanding and deserving of huge attention worldwide.